The delay in reaching a peace settlement over Vietnam has caused considerable bitterness among the relatives of United States servicemen killed in the war since hopes of a truce were raised.
SV Sergeant Taylor's coffin loaded in Johnson City (3 shots)
CU Photograph of Taylor TILT TO His wife and family
CU Mrs. Taylor speaking
SV Salute fired and last post played (2 shots)
Voice over funeral shots
Herewith, a transcript of Mrs. Taylor's comments:-
FIRST SECTION: "Naturally, I am, I lost my husband and like I said, if they had signed the peace I think it would not have happened. I have never voted in a presidential election before and since they had assured us of peace this time, I registered and made a special effort to get out this time to vote because I thought if we had got President Nixon in, peace would be assured."
SECOND SECTION: "If they had gone ahead and signed the treaty as promised, my husband would be alive today with me and my children. I hope it comes ... I really do, because I think too many man have died now in Vietnam. We lost so many good men, fathers and sons. I just hope no more have to die over there."
Initials ESP/2152 ESP/2205
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The delay in reaching a peace settlement over Vietnam has caused considerable bitterness among the relatives of United States servicemen killed in the war since hopes of a truce were raised. On October 26 this year, Presidential adviser Dr. Henry Kissinger, said that peace was "at hand". Since the dozens of U.S. servicemen have been killed. They include Air Force Staff Sergeant Louis Taylor, whose funeral service was held on Friday (December 15).
His wife said that if the peace had been signed, her husband's death would not have happened. She said that a peace settlement had been promised twice and still had not been signed.
Sergeant Taylor, aged 37, was a helicopter mechanic. He had been on a helicopter at Ton Son Nhut Air Base outside Saigon on December 6 when rockets were fired into the base. He was killed by shrapnel and his body was returned recently for burial to his home-town of Johnson City in the state of Tennessee. Sergeant Taylor, the father of three children, had told his wife that he thought Presidents Nixon was right not to sign the peace agreement until North Vietnamese troops were out of South Vietnam.